I’m not the type to believe that “everyone should get a trophy for participating.” I’ve come in last place in enough horse shows to know that failure and trials only push you to rise to the next level.
But I do believe that when it comes to the Olympics, the medal count isn’t what really matters. It is the heart and the stories behind the competitors.
That’s why I decided to share some of my favorite stories so far:
Hiroshi Hoketsu, age 71, is the oldest competitor in the Olympics since 1920. He made his debut as an equestrian back in the 1964 Tokyo games and then worked as a businessman and put horses behind him.
Then, he got back into the sport and worked tirelessly.
What I love most?
“I eat what I want to eat and drink as much as I want to drink,” said Hoketsu through an interpreter. “People might expect that I am able to participate for so long because I have special habits. But my secret is to have a good life, enjoy yourself and do the things that make you happy.
“Having said that, I am out there riding horses every day for several hours. Then I come back in and do many exercises, to help with my strength, coordination, and, most importantly, my balance.”
Germany claims gold in the team three-day evening, Michael Jung running a faultless course and leaving the British team with silver. Worldwide eyes especially turned to the Great Britain team because of Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter, on the team.
Ahead still are the individual competitions for dressage, cross-country and team jumping.
And if you want to know a bit more about dressage, NBC Olympics did a good job describing it here.
Let’s talk other stories that you’ve enjoyed from the Olympics – any sport! Share in the comments!